On Again – Off Again Record Hill Wind Project

site of the Record Hill Wind Project in Maine, USA
Will the Record Hill Wind Project finally be completed?
Record Hill Wind

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee to cover a portion of the cost of constructing the Record Hill Wind Project. The conditional commitment is still subject to final agency reviews but moves the project a major step closer to resuming construction which was suspended in early 2010.

As part of the financing commitment, it was announced that the Yale University Endowment would be a major sponsor of the project, working with the Maine-based Independence Wind, LLC and Wagner Wind Energy I, LLC of Lyme, New Hampshire to bring the project to completion.

“We’re delighted that the exhaustive review done by the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office has resulted in this step toward making the project a reality,” said Independence Wind, LLC President, Rob Gardiner. “And having a world-class financial partner like the Yale endowment involved brings real financial depth and expertise to the table as well.”

The 22-turbine wind-power project was approved by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in August of 2009 after a nine-month process involving numerous public meetings and the submission of voluminous environmental studies. Project opponents appealed this permit to the Board of Environmental Protection, which denied the appeal last March. Opponents then appealed the Board’s order to the Maine Supreme Court which heard arguments on the case in January. A decision on the case is expected soon.

“We are extremely pleased about this successful partnership with Independence Wind and Yale,” said Wagner Wind Energy I, LLC President Tom Colgan. “We look forward to continuing to work on innovative ways to sustainably utilize natural resources and provide economic benefits to Maine communities.”

In addition to increased tax revenue and job creation, Record Hill Wind will be providing free electricity to all residents within the town of Roxbury – a benefit the developers believe is a first in the nation.

The project has an estimated cost of $125 million and electrical output of 122.1 million kWh per year, the equivalent of the electricity consumed by approximately 20,000 typical Maine households.

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